California Kebab & Beer Garden and Amplified Ale Works | Delicious Food + Great Beer + Warm Sun = Happiness

April 17, 2013

Dust the sand from between your toes, peel off the wetsuit or throw on a bikini cover up and some flip flops and head straight from the beach to California Kebab & Beer Garden - an oasis of great food and the finest beer sitting loftily one block from the board walk in Pacific Beach.  Cali Kebab has brought a new level of delicious, healthy, and relatively quick food to PB, while maintaining the chilled-out surfer vibe this neighborhood is known for.  And if savory Mediterranean specialties weren't enough of a draw, Cali-Kebab has partnered with their in-house brewpub Amplified Ale Works to offer some innovative beers while also serving the cream of the crop from other (mostly local) breweries.  And to top it all off, everything is served with a salty breeze and ocean views.

Order your food at the front, take your number, order drinks
at the bar.  Take your seat and relax.  Enjoy!
Since closing the doors to its SDSU counterpart, California Kebab and Beer Garden has focused all of its energies on this new location, and the dedication does not go unnoticed.  Each member of the team is gracious, eager to assist, and ready to engage in friendly conversation, whether it be about food, beer, that day's surf or life in general.  And because of the order-at-the-front model, service is streamlined, enabling fast production and distribution of food.  So order up, grab a pitcher, and find a seat at one of the many outdoor picnic tables or indoor high-tops, and your meal will arrive before you in no time.

JC Hill and Cy Henley enjoying a job well done!

Cali-Kebab has thought up some amazing weekly specials.  During their weekday happy hour (Monday through Friday from 3 - 6 pm), select draft beers are half off - and these guys do not skimp when it comes to their 'select' beers.  You will never see a Bud Light or Corona on this beer list. Amplified Ale Works, headed up by brewermaster Cy Henley, has recently entered the craft beer scene and has reached new levels of speedy success within the ever-thriving San Diego craft beer industry.  Cy's resume includes experience at Ballast Point, Alpine and Green Flash, and he obviously enjoys putting forth the hard work that creates amazing beers.  We sampled one of his latest delectable creations: a French whiskey barreled Belgian strong ale with creamy coffee notes, weighing in at 16+ ABV.  It was amazing and seemed to get better with each sip.

Amplified will be releasing a not-to-be-missed imperial stout this week with chocolatey-cherry flavors.  JC Hill, one of the founders, is a dedicated beer enthusiast and connoisseur, and his knowledge of amazing beers is evident in the extensive tap list he maintains.  Aside from Amplified Ale Works' beers, currently on tap is the unique Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin IPA, Coronado Idiot IPA, Green Flash Le Freak Belgian IPA, Societe The Debutante, and Lagunitas WTF, to name a few of the 21 beers available on draft.  In addition to beer and wine, Cali Kebab offers Boylan fountain sodas and an array of cocktails, including an overloaded spicy Bloody Mary that was awarded the title of "Best of the Beach."

Taco Tuesday with a Mediterranean twist at Cali Kebab
On Tuesdays, get any pitcher for $10 and $3 kebab tacos (or 2 for $5), and these tacos are not your ordinary taco shop tacos, they're more like miniature versions of their doner kebabs (similar to gyros and/or shawarma) with the option of falafel, lamb or chicken.  Wednesday hosts Stein Night during which a 32 ounce stein of German beer is $5.  Thursdays' Koozin' for a Brews'n theme gets you $4 pints all night long with the purchase of a $3 Amplified Koozie...and bring the koozie back Thursday after Thursday for $4 pints all night!  If you're getting what is likely the most expensive beer on the list at $7, the deal pays for itself in the first purchase!  And most recently, Cali Kebab embarked on a farm-to-table Sunday brunch - for $20 indulge in 4 slices of hickory smoked bacon, rosemary fingerling potatoes, smoked cheddar cheesy egg scramble, french toast with pomegranate sangria syrup and a beer flight! Holy Sunday Funday!

Doner kebab!!!
So now that we've established that this place is at the top of the list of craft beer destinations at the beach and offers insane deals on the regs, credit is due to the kitchen for putting out huge, beautiful dishes, made fresh from scratch in record time.  As PB locals and lovers of craft beer and healthy food, we frequent the patio at Cali-Kebab, and, if it's not Tuesday (when we each get 2 lamb tacos and split a pitcher) we each consistently order the lamb doner ($8), a Rotisserie sandwich, on flat bread with all the fixings (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, feta cheese, fresh mint, and red onion) and all the sauces (OMG! The sauces! California chili, cucumber tzatziki, mustachio habanero, and my personal fave, super garlicky garlic aioli).  Every.damn.time!  So this time we figured we'd branch out and try some new menu items.

Our skewer plate
In addition to 'the usual' (can't visit CK without a lamb doner!), we shared a skewer plate which comes with a fresh salad, rice, any side, and your choice of 3 skewers ($13).  While we could have done without the overcooked rice (although flavor was nice), we thoroughly enjoyed the garlic pepper shrimp, the sweet and savory pomegranate sirloin, and fresh vegetable skewers, each delicious in its own rite.  The salad was refreshing and flavorful with slices of radish and apple, and the chosen side of panko-crusted parmesan zucchini with spicy buttermilk sauce did not disappoint.  We added a side of tabouli which was simple and fresh, but Israeli couscous-heavy and lacking in the traditional parsley punch.  There is seriously so much to explore on the Cali-Kebab food menu, from the huge salads, to the mountain of doner fries, to naan pizza and cheese plates, so sidle up next to your friendly neighbor, because, as the bar sign boasts, "Good People Drink Good Beer."

Cali Kebab is located at 4150 Mission Blvd., Suite 208, and parking is available at the location.  For more information, visit Cali Kebab online and be sure to follow on Facebook and Twitter.

4150 Mission Blvd., Suite 208, Pacific Beach
(858) 270-5222


Mon - Wed: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Thu - Sat: 11:00 am - 12:00 am
Sun: 11:00 am - 11:00 pm

California Kebab on Urbanspoon